November 26, 2021
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced on April 26 that it will begin a survey on April 27 to construct an undersea tunnel that will connect to the outlet of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba towns, Fukushima Prefecture), 1 km offshore, in order to proceed with a plan to release contaminated water into the sea after purification and treatment. In December, preparations began for the construction of a shaft to temporarily store the treated water, with the aim of releasing the water in the spring of 2023. In December, preparations began for the construction of a shaft to temporarily store the treated water, and the move to release the water in the spring of 2003 will be in full swing.
According to TEPCO, magnetic sensors will be used to check the seafloor at the drilling site for any obstructions in order to conduct a ground survey by boring.
Then, over a period of about a month starting in early December, the geology will be examined by drilling 10 to 30 meters into the seabed at three points along the construction route of the undersea tunnel, about 400 meters offshore from the plant, about 700 meters, and about 1 kilometer from the discharge port.
From early December to March next year, a 10-plus meter square hole will be dug at the site along the coast east of Unit 5, where a shaft will be installed. The timing of the construction of an undersea tunnel connecting the shaft to the discharge port has not yet been decided.
Explanations to the local community have been difficult, and there is deep-rooted opposition, especially from the fishing industry.
The release of treated water into the ocean is strongly opposed by people in the fishing industry, and explanations to the local community by TEPCO and the government have been difficult.
Even now, seven months after the government’s decision, TEPCO has not been able to apply for the facility plan to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. TEPCO is continuing to explain the plan to the people concerned by carrying out the seabed survey and preparatory work ahead of the plan. (Kenta Onozawa)